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Germany

Poor Marks Again for German School Education

An international group of experts commissioned by the OECD (Office of Economic Cooperation and Development) to compile a comparative study on teachers worldwide has once again castigated the German school system for failing to keep up with the times. German weekly Die Zeit quoted a report by the experts which said Germany’s unique three-tiered secondary school system and understaffed schools were "taking the country back to an older time." The experts visited Germany in September and spoke with teachers and representatives from education ministries. The expert report admitted there were "dedicated teachers" in Germany, but blamed complicated bureaucratic and administrative process, deficient teacher training programs and halfhearted reforms for much of the inadequacies in the education system. The latest criticism comes on the heels of a damning national education report drawn up by top education officials of Germany’s 16 states and released in October, which pronounced the German education system as outmoded and in need of a overhaul. Germany also performed miserably in an international PISA education comparison in 2000.